The St. Maarten Nature Foundation was established in June 1997 with funding from the Dutch World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with the aim to protect areas of important natural habitat unique to St. Maarten. The St. Maarten Nature Foundation is the management authority of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park, the island’s first national park and all of St. Maarten dive sites.
Tourist activities are concentrated on the south and eastern side of the island. These areas embody some of the last pristine marine locations on the island, with excellent diving. This area also constitutes an important breeding ground for marine birds, fish, sea turtles, queen conch and other marine life.
The Nature Foundation manages and installs all dive moorings on the Dutch side of the island. The Nature Foundation is also actively protecting various areas of Terrestrial Wildlife thus creating a network of protected areas for the island.